Thuringian, Franz Swaty, yellow Coticule, Emerald Pike, and 00 Frictionite

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Gibbs, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Gibbs

    Gibbs Member

    Ok.. I bought a 00 Frictionite in the little green felt pouch the other day at an antique store. Got it for 22.00 so I can't complaing too much about the price. I also have 2 yellow coticules (one with more pink marbeling) and a Franz Swaty barber hone (This one is dark red-brown) and also a Pike EMERALD stone. The Pike turns quite green when wet.

    My question is, would I gain anything by getting a German Thruingian? I have heard they are wonderful finishers. I would so like to put a nice smooth and sharp edge on my razors. Each would have a certain limit. Honestly, I don't have a clue on the grit of the Swaty, Pike nor that 00 Frictionite by American Hone Co (Moravia Iowa) but it has 2 side to it. One side says start here. Other side says finish on this side. Small little stone but I understand from the interent chatter that it was well liked.

    Thruingian... worth the bother?
  2. stingraysrock

    stingraysrock PIF'd away his custom title

    Did you ever get an answer somewhere?
  3. Gibbs

    Gibbs Member

    Jeff, I was told that the 00 Frictionite was about 10,000 grit on the finish side, and that Most Swayt's were in the 8,000 or so grit, mabe more. I am not sure about the green hone I have by Pike. BTW, I got a pdf file from Norton (sharpening stones and whetstones) and they bought out Pike years ago. Shows the exact same picture of a Norther Pike going though the capital letter "P". I guess Thruingians are nice, but they are like a lot of the other natural hones, some better than others. Grit can vary as well, as does the Coticules. That's about all I have found out.
  4. stingraysrock

    stingraysrock PIF'd away his custom title

    I see. I have a Swaty 3-line and was told it was around 8K as well. I am just now getting into hones since it is about the only AD left that I have not ventured into yet. I am in search of the right Coticule at the moment.
  5. LRD_III

    LRD_III Member

    You can finish effectively with many of those. The Thury will not necessarily gain you anything. The Escher might, but I am told that it is not that much better. Hones are more about status when talking natural stones. Even translucent Arkansas stones give a fantastic finish, its just slower cutting.
    Get the 30K shapton if you want the "finest" or Japanese natural if you want the highest grit natural stone. The Japanese stones are the best in my opinion if you can afford them.
  6. SliceOfLife

    SliceOfLife New Member

    Thuri's do vary. Grit is hard to nail down, but I'd say ballpark 12k JIS to 15k+. Even low grit Thuri's should be finer than anything you've got. Enough you really care? Maybe not. Most thuri's are going to be a LOT softer than any of your barber stones though, and easier to use. In my experience they're better at sharpening than swaty's or Frictionite 00 (not better than coti's though). In the end, unless the emerald pike is something special, I'd say you might as well shorten the question to "I own a coti... do I need a Thuri to finish on?" In which case, no. Coti's give good shaving finishes. Every Thuri I've used gave a sharper finish than my best Coti finish, but do you need it? I'm pretty demanding of an edge before I'll consider it shave ready, and coti's make the cut for me. I just really, really like Thuri's. In the end both are great stones. Coti's leave razors a touch less sharp. The best thing I could equate it to is saying that you have a 10k Sigma power, do you need a 13k one as well?

    Speaking of which. I have a 10k Sigma Power. Do I need a 13k one as well?
    Billyfergie likes this.
  7. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Seems to be a human thing to try to compare one thing to another...

    All these stones and hones are different, they have different cutting styles it is much more imortant to find one that fits you face, then work it to the top of it's game then to keep bouncing around on them...

    When people try and compare natural stones it gets even worse,,,

    My Coticule isn't the same as yours, the are many different grades..
    The same with Thuringens that range from tool grade, to the Finest grade which were chosen as Eschers...
    Look at Japanese stones, the differences there are even more so..

    Even comparing the Manmades and their grits are a effort in futility, there are a mutitude of grit scales, that honestly when you get down to it, confuse the issue more then they help, because they only deal with the grit NOT the nature of the grit, nor the nature of the binder...

    It still comes down to the last bit in this sport, "How does it shave" :cool:
  8. Utopian

    Utopian New Member

    The Thury won't gain anything but the Escher might??? Do you realize that an Escher is a Thuringian that had a label glued to it. There are lots of Thuringians that did not get the honor of that label but still happen to work better than SOME Eschers. Individual rocks do vary.

    THe 30K Shapton is not necessarily the finest any more than a random Japanese natural has the highest natural grit. Natural stones do vary, and they do so in much more than just grit size. There are other critical characteristics of hones, both natural and synthetic, beyond simple grit size.

    Regarding Gibbs' question, barber hones also have characteristics beyond grit size. Both the density of the grit, the combinations of multiple grits, and the binders of the hones played critical roles in the honing performance of the hones. These are the simple reasons why barber hones and natural hones NEVER have grit ratings.
  9. Gibbs

    Gibbs Member

    Agreed, Ron. Sometimes the binders and "how" they all were put together were all important. So important they sometimes made the difference between a good hone and a great hone. Take the 00 Frictionite as an example. Before it was made by American Hone Company in Moravia Iowa, it was made for short time in New York. And before that the trade idea or process was owned by a company called Dubl Duck. 2 layer hone, sharpen on one side and finish on the other. American Hone bought the company, and started making them for a short time there in New York before moving to Iowa. But, in Iowa they were not getting success with how the process was made up to produce the same quality of hone that was made in Olean, New York. So they brought Louis Hiatt, a woman that knew the technique with the formula, from New York to Moravia Iowa to show them how to do it right. She loved the town and area and ended up staying there. ref: GREAT read by the way in the link.

    The main abrasive was mined in Rhodesia. ( link: ) And finally the Rhodesia company went out of business. The process or formula, or "how to" was in Lois Hiatt's head and she never wrote it down. One Christmas morning, back in 1950 IIRC, she died and also died with her was the actuall process of how to make these 00 Frictionite hones.

    How the binders and fillers were put together and mixed with the abrasives was important, and it worked. It was not just about grit, it was about "how" the grit reacted with the rest of the hone.

    Herr Escher managed to pick though some Thruingian and pick out what he thought was the better of the bunch. Put his label on it. Lynn Abrams, or anyone else, could have done the same.

    Mine. Came in a little green felt bag. Water seems to degrade the label, so I have abandoned using it with water.


  10. randydance062449

    randydance062449 New Member

    Just a quick note......
    Lois was raised and graduated from high school in Iowa. She started working at AHC in Moravia, IA right after high school. The AHC never owned Dubl Duck. The people who owned AHC in Olean, NY sold the company, lock, stock and barrel, to the Johnson family in Moravia, IA in either 1950 or 1954. The equipment, inventory and recipes were all loaded onto a railroad car and shipped to Moravia. One employee from the former Olean location was sent for 4 months to teach the employees in Moravia, IA how to make hones. One of those employees was Lois. She passed on in 2004. My information comes from Charles Johnson, the youngest son of the owner, who has worked at that company all his life. Lois was the last of the employees who knew how to make the hones. The process of making the hones was never written down, only the ingredients were known. The equipment used in Olean NY and Moravia was one and the same. I doubt that the process changed and iota. The size and shape of the hones did change but that was probably due to market demand and trends.
    The rumor has it that the Frictionite 00 used a natural mineral from Rhodesia but the orders were placed with an American supplier...the country source was never confirmed. Other AHC hones used that exact same abrasive but very few.
  11. Gibbs

    Gibbs Member

    I had read someplace that before it was American Hone Company that Dubl Duck made a hone and the business was sold to American Hone Company. A recent ended eBay auction of a DublDuck hone kind of lead creedence to that story. Here is the link for the eBay (ended) Dubl Duck hone. Note when you look at the pictures it has the same wording on the side of the stone denoting which side to start and which side to finish on.

  12. randydance062449

    randydance062449 New Member

    AHC did make the Dubl Duck hone, that is true, ...... and over 109 others. I would be very surprised if Dubl Duck made anything. They were a brand/distributor IIRC but not a mfg to my knowledge. Dubl Duck may have had the hone made for them by another hone mfg originally and then switched to AHC as a mfg. I might also add that Olean NY was not the original location for AHC. I have seen one other hone made by them from a different location that looked to be made very early.
  13. Gibbs

    Gibbs Member

    Thanks for the education on this Randy. I glean whatever I can get off the internet as there are really few books compiled that go to such lengths of info. Being there is also a plus on getting some of the info right.
  14. Mr. Imperial

    Mr. Imperial Member

    This is slightly off-topic, but I live about half an hour from Olean! I wonder if there's anything left of the company around here?

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